Nearly 50 percent more new cases of COVID-19 in January

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — January ended with a 46 percent increase over December in new cases of COVID-19 in the Gila Valley.

According to data released by the Graham County Health Department, there were 1,889 new cases of coronavirus through Jan. 31, compared to 1,013 in December, the previous peak month of the pandemic in the Gila Valley.

There were also 14 coronavirus-related deaths in the Gila Valley in January, the second most in a month behind 16 in December.

Meanwhile February offer some hope, with the first two days of reporting in single digits for the first time since July. The Health Department reported nine new cases Monday and two Tuesday.

However, there was also a death reported Tuesday, a Safford resident between the ages of 20 and 44.

Since the start of the pandemic 10 months ago, Graham County has experienced 5,128 cases and 66 deaths. The positivity rate is currently at 25.8 percent.

Greenlee County

After two days with no new cases, Greenlee County Health Department reported three new positives to start February.

Since the start of the pandemic, Greenlee County has experienced 529 cases and six deaths. The county’s positivity rate is currently at 12.3 percent.